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Microsoft Flight Simulator review – buckle in and see the world

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August 18, 2020 at 07:00AM

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PC (version tested)/Xbox One (coming soon)
Microsoft/Asobo
The perfect lockdown antidote: get in a plane and see New York, or the Amalfi coast, or the Himalayas, in eye-searing detail

When the original Microsoft Flight simulator was released almost 40 years ago, it was very much for enthusiasts only. Early home computers could barely cope with drawing cockpit instrument panels, let alone scenery – so what you saw as you fought with the controls was a lot of dials and numbers, usually followed by an on-screen message politely informing you that you had crashed during take-off.

This is not the experience you will have with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. Developed by French studio Asobo using accurate geographic data culled from Bing Maps, a global cloud computing network, and real-time weather information, this is as much a visual spectacle as it is a simulator. And you will want to see as much as you can, because at 10,000 feet, the world looks spectacular (especially on the Ultra graphical settings, where it’s almost photorealistic). From craggy snow-topped mountain ranges to swooping desert valleys to bustling cities, the landscape is alive with detail.

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